WRITING: Books, Essays, Prose

Don't you just love a good story? A poem that speaks to you in just the right way? I write about things that exist just under the surface of the mundane, that illustrate the presence of our divine heritage or that speak to our amazing shared journey. My "MARLEYTHOUGHTS" blog (see tab above) contains day-to-day thoughts, and my book is described below. Enjoy!

 A man stumbles through a desert on the verge of death. Hearing a voice, he decides to follow it and finds at the end of the instruction, his salvation.

 

"Sand" is an exploration of the nature of reality that addresses:

 

  • The origins of the souls of mankind;

  • The role of the Earth in our awakening;

  • The nature of time and how our view of it affects the way we view reality;

  • The role of pain in our lives;

  • How stillness is at the core of all Connection;

  • The immensity of Creation and how we are an integral part of it.

 

Join "The Wanderer" on a journey through the desert of Life... you never know what awaits!

 

https://www.amazon.com/Sand-Conversation-About-Enormity-Life/dp/1722644680/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1548735589&sr=8-2&keywords=sand+by+eric+marley

ESSAY: WINTER 2015-16 "Religion, Jaguars and Squirrelly Things"

 

Religion alone will never get us where we want to go, will never alone be the catalyst for the full expansion of our souls. Many religions and denominations within seem designed primarily to placate and comfort in order to gain converts. They kowtow to the fear that current threats can easily provide, ramp it up and get emotional buy-in that takes the form of a frenzied self-righteousness. But we came to this place and plane with abilities far greater than a system with those characteristics can augment. 

 

The nature of the Universe – hence the nature of Creator - is primarily to goad and challenge us, creating opportunities for growth custom-tailored to the needs of our souls which become evident through careful acceptance and analysis of our individual suffering through relentless self-reflection. Nature, the only thing we can access that was created by God, does not tolerate stagnation, nor would our souls in their pure forms request it. 

 

But our souls are coupled with bodies in this existence, and sometimes our bodies or our egos do need a break, do need respite. It’s ok as long as we know we are doing it. It's analogous to skipping a payment on a loan. One still has to pay it, just not now. And that may be all the relief a person in that type of distress needs. However, we become spiritually lazy when we seek respite for too long or in unhealthful ways. We cease to ask ourselves hard questions because that would challenge the peace we have come to love and, to an extent, depend upon as an addiction. But it is a false peace, one that primarily blames circumstances and others for our pain and places hope for peace outside of ourselves on the shoulders of a God who is separate from us, rather than working with the Creator of Earth, Heaven and our Souls to gain it in the one place we can ever find it: this present moment; which is never accessible if we do not accept not only the difficulties we encounter but take personal responsibility for them wherever it exists.

 

There is an archetypal creature within Incan spirituality with which most of us are familiar. It is the jaguar. Her job is to hunt down the “reasons” for our spiritual dysfunction so that we can identify and process them. "Reasons" of this type are squirrelly creatures that would rather not be found. Their lives, metaphorically speaking, depend on it. But jaguar is relentless. She will find them if we ask and allow her to look. The pain we feel when we begin to see where our perceptions have created our own suffering is analogous to these creatures dying, for Seeing is the first step to Healing. So it is a precious pain, one that is associated with life and light rather than death and destruction. Painful, but bearable.  Barely.  

 

If that is too earthy and you prefer a more Christian approach, Jesus will do the same thing because all true spirituality operates under the same principles. But it requires deep humility (deeper than we are usually wont to go on our own). Humility in practice includes in this instance an ability to let go of false peace and ask hard questions of ourselves. Otherwise not even Jesus is able to help us in this manner. We are to take responsibility where we can and search for it if it is not immediately apparent. We are to leave judgement to God. We are to reach out in compassion, go the extra mile and bring healing wherever possible, seeing and seeking unity above all else. This is how Jesus lived.

 

Many religions do not preach this Gospel. They instead fulfill the words of Isaiah: “speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits.” Members place the blame on others first, itching to pick up a gun and be a part of the “solution”. This is not the way of Jesus. The LDS have it spelled out even clearer, with a story within the Book of Mormon (Alma 24) of a group of converts to Jesus that buried their weapons of war in the earth rather than shed the blood of their brethren. Wherever you kneel in relation to Jesus, my committed Christian friends, I challenge you to bring your substantial, soulful gifts to your churches, to illustrate a spirituality within them that is based on compassion and a sense of wonder as I have described.   

 

I am nobody special and don’t pretend to be anybody special. But I am an observer of the human condition from a (now) uncommon perspective that has practical validity and that works with all religion on the level of the mythic providing a perspective that is sorely needed. I respect many that call themselves Christian and consider myself a follower of Jesus, albeit a very non-conventional one. I want to help if there is anything I can do, whether it’s a personal conversation, a written debate or as a sounding board. I humbly suggest that we are missing something here and that the answer will not be found by hashing over our already present perceptions and beliefs, or simply try harder in the same ways we always have. Nor is it necessary to give up religion to find those answers, only to question the way we use it.

 

We are a species in profound pain. It does not have to be this way. We are as close to the path of healing as we are ready to be. I am certain of it. 

An Old Favorite...

"The Journey"

by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.

 

---Mary Oliver

POEM: WINTER 2015-2016 "I Felt Bad"

I felt bad, so I ate three candy bars in one sitting.

Then I felt better.

Then the good feeling wore off, and I felt worse because my body felt run down

And my soul felt depressed.

And I was disappointed in myself for eating three candy bars in one sitting

And disrespecting my body.

It was good at the time, but I was over it.

And the thing I felt bad about was still there.

It didn’t care.

It just looked at me from the closet.

 

The next day I felt bad, so I drank eleven beers myself.

Then I felt better.

Then the good feeling wore off, and I felt worse because my body felt sick

And my soul felt depressed.

And I was disappointed in myself for drinking eleven beers

And getting sloppy drunk.

It was fun at the time, but was over it.

And the thing I felt bad about was still there.

It didn’t care.

It just looked at me from the closet.

 

The next day I felt bad, so I watched football for eight hours straight.

Then I felt better.

Then the good feeling wore off, and I felt worse because my body felt ignored.

And my soul felt depressed.

And I was disappointed in myself for neglecting pretty much everything important

And wasting a whole day on something that doesn’t have any lasting benefit.

It was fun at the time, but I was over it.

And the thing I felt bad about was still there.

It didn’t care.

It just looked at me from the closet.

 

Now it was time to get serious.

 

“I’m going to church,” I said.

 

Then I felt better.

Because he told me things I could understand, and everything made sense to my mind.

Then the good feeling wore off, and I felt worse because… the good feeling wore off.

And my soul felt depressed.

I was proud of myself for trying...

But what the hell?

It felt good at the time, but I was over it.

And the thing I felt bad about was still there.

It didn’t care.

It just looked at me from the closet.

 

But I did see it blink.

 

The next day I went to India to seek a holy man.

 

Then I felt better

Because he told me things I couldn’t understand, and everything seemed so poetic.

Then the good feeling wore off, and I felt worse because now my mind was fully confused.

And my soul felt depressed.

And I beat myself up for all this meandering

And all the money squandered

And my life seemed crooked

And even my mind was lost, let alone my heart.

It felt good at the time, but I was over it.

And the thing I felt bad about was still there.

It didn’t care.

It just looked at me from the closet.

   

But it’s triumphant smile dropped just a hint.

 

But I was now thoroughly pissed.

And since I still had a week to go in India

I went back to that Holy man

And cried

And cussed

And yelled

But he just looked at me

With eyes like the Thing In My Closet

But wiser and far kinder

And told me

To go home

And learn to sit

And learn to breathe

And learn to quiet the mind that thinks it has to

Eat

Drink

Distract Itself

Be more “spiritual”

In order to stop seeing the Thing In The Closet

He said that I was the guru

And that he was nothing

And that I am always connected to life

If I choose the moment and stop fighting it

And that connection to life

Is all I am seeking.

 

“But that Thing is scary,” I told him.

 

“You are the guru,” is all he said.

And I was dismissed.

 

When I got home

I changed some things

I learned to sit still

I learned to breathe in and out slowly

I learned to quiet the mind

I stopped eating, drinking and busying myself

To distraction

To keep me from looking at

The Thing In The Closet.

 

Over time, the Thing started to change.

 

It turned vaguely human.

It shrunk.

It turned into a child.

Eventually I could see

That the child

Was myself

That time so long ago

That I had felt

Alone.

 

--Aspen

December 2015

 

 

 

 

 

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